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Children's LiteratureWhat is better than getting two books in one? Well, that is what you get with this title. Based on the kids' TV show, Maya and Miguel, these two cute stories are fun reading for early elementary-aged children. In My Twin Sister, Maya sets things in motion planning a big surprise for her mother's upcoming birthday. Knowing that her mother has always wanted to go to Hawaii, Maya enters a radio contest where the winning essay receives a trip to the Hawaiian islands. Despite her best efforts, Maya places as a runner up. Disappointed, Maya and Miguel come up with plan B: to bring the Hawaiian islands to their house for Mama's birthday. So Maya and Miguel get busy making paper mache coconuts, palm trees and collecting Hawaiian music so that their Mama will feel like she is in the islands, even if it is located in their living room. Mama is ecstatic when her birthday arrives and she sees the trouble the kids have gone to for her birthday surprise. But the biggest surprise of all is when Miguel learns that he has won the essay contest, having submitted an entry himself as a back-up for Maya. Maya is almost upset, until she learns that the special person he chose to write about is her. As an added bonus, the entire family is off to Hawaii. In Miguel's story on the flip-side of the book, the story is about making new friends and being who you are. When a new boy, Carlos, arrives at school, everyone is really impressed when he tells the class all of the places he has lived and seen. They are even more impressed when they learn that he has played soccer in Brazil and has some pretty impressive moves on the field. Miguel, too, plays soccer and has high hopes that he and Carlos willbecome fast friends. That is, until the entire class begins monopolizing all of Carlos' time. Despite his many efforts to get to know Carlos better, Miguel's self-esteem begins to take a tumble and he loses confidence, feeling overshadowed by his classmates and by Carlos' amazing soccer skills. Just when Miguel has all but given up hope, he comes to the realization that he does not need to compete with all of his school mates for Carlos' friendship and does not have to be a soccer star to be special. Carlos likes him just the way he is and their friendship is based on who he is, not what skills or talents he has. 2005, Scholastic Entertainment, Ages 6 to 8.